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Subject: Stronghold Games + MAGIC REALM Trademark = Reprint??? rss

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Will Crane
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Found this searching around for any new info.
http://www.trademarkia.com/magic-realm-85458082.html
Shows that Stronghold Games has received a trademark on the phrase "MAGIC REALM" which was recently issued on 2/28/2012.
They also have a trademark on Merchant of Venus, so I figure this is a good indicator of something they may be working on.

KaPoW!
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George Ramos
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Well as long as FFG doesn't ALSO have it registered things look good! Encouraging news indeed.
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Robert Loblah
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Nice find!
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Scott Lewis
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Pantsbandit wrote:
They also have a trademark on Merchant of Venus, so I figure this is a good indicator of something they may be working on.
Where did you see this? I'm finding the opposite, in that Wizards of the Coast has it (and thus, by extension, Hasbro):

http://tarr.uspto.gov/tarr?regser=serial&entry=85453054&acti...


trademarkia.com doesn't show anyone as having it.
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Andy Stout
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http://www.trademarkia.com/merchant-of-venus-85454659.html

Not sure what "suspension letter - mailed" means though: whether that means that they were mailed a letter or whether they mailed a letter or what.
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Scott Lewis
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Not sure, either. Based on the link I found above (which seems to be related to the Patent Office directly), which was dated Jan 17, 2012, my guess is that it looks like WotC won the trademark and Stronghold's was thus suspended.

Whether this will stay this way, I'm not sure, but it looks like a major setback for Stronghold to my less-than-educated-in-legal-stuff eyes.

http://tarr.uspto.gov/tarr?regser=serial&entry=85454659&acti...
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Scott Lewis
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Here's a link to the Suspension Letter itself:

http://tdr.uspto.gov/jsp/DocumentViewPage.jsp?85454659/SUL20...

I am not fluent in legalese, but it could just be that action on Stronghold's application was suspended while it gets sorted out in court or whatever. IE, it doesn't look like it does mean WotC was awarded the Trademark (although their application does not have a suspension notice, but rather it was published for opposition, which seems like a step forward for WotC).
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Bummer! However, given Hamblien's desire to update the rules substantially (or at least that's what an old interview page I read on the web said) and the narrowness of the hobby boardgame market, a name like, "Richard Hamblien's Realms of Magic" would, imo, work fine as a title.
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Scott Lewis
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Sam and Max wrote:
Bummer! However, given Hamblien's desire to update the rules substantially (or at least that's what an old interview page I read on the web said) and the narrowness of the hobby boardgame market, a name like, "Richard Hamblien's Realms of Magic" would, imo, work fine as a title.
I don't think the same applies to Magic Realm - the above was referring to Merchant of Venus. Sorry for the confusion (and tangent; I only brought it up because the OP mentioned that Stronghold had it for both games).

I didn't see anything contesting the Magic Realm trademark, so Stronghold may well have it without contest (and it looks like they do).
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Edward Rustin
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sigmazero13 wrote:
Here's a link to the Suspension Letter itself:

http://tdr.uspto.gov/jsp/DocumentViewPage.jsp?85454659/SUL20...

I am not fluent in legalese, but it could just be that action on Stronghold's application was suspended while it gets sorted out in court or whatever. IE, it doesn't look like it does mean WotC was awarded the Trademark (although their application does not have a suspension notice, but rather it was published for opposition, which seems like a step forward for WotC).
The legalese says that WotC had applied for the trademark first, and thus Stronghold's application is suspended until such a time as WotC's application is approved (in which case Stronghold's is automatically denied) or denied (in which case Stronghold's application will be considered).
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Will Crane
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sigmazero13 wrote:
Pantsbandit wrote:
They also have a trademark on Merchant of Venus, so I figure this is a good indicator of something they may be working on.
Where did you see this? I'm finding the opposite, in that Wizards of the Coast has it (and thus, by extension, Hasbro):

http://tarr.uspto.gov/tarr?regser=serial&entry=85453054&acti...


trademarkia.com doesn't show anyone as having it.
True, I did not dive that deep into the trademark entry and as mentioned already it has been suspended. I was honestly more interested in the Magic Realm trademark as that one still has not played out.
 
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Pantsbandit wrote:
sigmazero13 wrote:
Pantsbandit wrote:
They also have a trademark on Merchant of Venus, so I figure this is a good indicator of something they may be working on.
Where did you see this? I'm finding the opposite, in that Wizards of the Coast has it (and thus, by extension, Hasbro):

http://tarr.uspto.gov/tarr?regser=serial&entry=85453054&acti...


trademarkia.com doesn't show anyone as having it.
True, I did not dive that deep into the trademark entry and as mentioned already it has been suspended. I was honestly more interested in the Magic Realm trademark as that one still has not played out.
Not so sure about that. The application was November and (I assume) made public so any counter application would have been received by now. It would appear the TM has been granted. However there is a field that suggests it can be disputed by early April. I have no legal knowledge so this is all from just reading the details there.

Only an expert could tell us more I think. Maybe one is here to help us out.

If I had to guess I would suggest FFG and Stronghold have done a deal. As FFG has already invested time and effort into MoV it makes sense for Stronghold to have MR in exchange.
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Samuel Hinz
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superflypete wrote:
I would almost give my left nut to get this reprinted! Excellent review!
At this point Pete's been holding onto that left nut for 2 years. If he'd just hand it over, I'm sure we would hear about a reprint within a couple hours.
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Steve Cuneo
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While I am an attorney, I don't practice trademark law so please keep that in mind. That said, I did check the USTPO website today, and found out that a Notice of Publication letter was issued on March 14, 2012 to Stronghold Games.

According to the letter, the mark will be published in the Official Gazette on April 3, 2012. As I read the applicable statue and rules, it appears that a party wishing to oppose the registration of the mark will have 30 days (which can be extended to 60 days upon request) to do so. If there is no opposition (or if the opposition is unsuccessful), then a Notice of Allowance is issued. The applicant then has to file a Statement of Use, which, if approved, leads to the mark registering.

Hopefully, the speculation on this page is correct and WOTC/Hasbro agreed not to oppose the Magic Realm trademark registration in exchange for Stronghold abandoning its plans on Merchant of Venus. With luck, both games get republished, and we all win. Fingers crossed.

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Scott Lewis
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1 of 5 wrote:
While I am an attorney, I don't practice trademark law so please keep that in mind. That said, I did check the USTPO website today, and found out that a Notice of Publication letter was issued on March 14, 2012 to Stronghold Games.

According to the letter, the mark will be published in the Official Gazette on April 3, 2012. As I read the applicable statue and rules, it appears that a party wishing to oppose the registration of the mark will have 30 days (which can be extended to 60 days upon request) to do so. If there is no opposition (or if the opposition is unsuccessful), then a Notice of Allowance is issued. The applicant then has to file a Statement of Use, which, if approved, leads to the mark registering.

Hopefully, the speculation on this page is correct and WOTC/Hasbro agreed not to oppose the Magic Realm trademark registration in exchange for Stronghold abandoning its plans on Merchant of Venus. With luck, both games get republished, and we all win. Fingers crossed.

I think that would be a win-win for both parties.
 
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Kenny Gage
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just in case people are still interested the Stronghold Trademark application for Magic Realm was updated to "Published for opposition" on 03 APR.
 
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red black wrote:
kgage88 wrote:
just in case people are still interested the Stronghold Trademark application for Magic Realm was updated to "Published for opposition" on 03 APR.
Cue FFG making an appearance on the 29th day.
More likely Hasbro.

Any armchair attorneys want to fill us in on what this implies?
 
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logopolys wrote:
red black wrote:
kgage88 wrote:
just in case people are still interested the Stronghold Trademark application for Magic Realm was updated to "Published for opposition" on 03 APR.
Cue FFG making an appearance on the 29th day.
More likely Hasbro.

Any armchair attorneys want to fill us in on what this implies?
It's a standard part of any U.S. federal trademark application.

Long story short (very short, and summarized), when you file a trademark registration application, it goes through a few stages. One stage is that it is reviewed by a Patent and Trademark Office examiner (i.e. a government worker who works for the USPTO). If that examiner believes that the mark is suitable for registration (oversummarizing, but that there are no other marks out there that are substantially similar in the category, that the mark is not generic or merely descriptive, etc.), then it goes to the next stage. The mark is "published for opposition," which essentially means it is put into a public gazette and any interested party (say one, for example, who has already been using that mark) may contest the mark within 30 days of publication.

(Trademarks can be contested even after the 30 days, but it is a different process to do it - the "published for opposition" stage is basically a, "If you've got a gripe, tell us now before we register it," process.)

So it is nothing special for this registration - it happens in all registrations, and does not mean that someone is actually fighting it.
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Scott Lewis
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red black wrote:
kgage88 wrote:
just in case people are still interested the Stronghold Trademark application for Magic Realm was updated to "Published for opposition" on 03 APR.
Cue FFG making an appearance on the 29th day.
Unless FFG was already in development and had a contract with Hasbro, I doubt it. The whole thing with Merchants of Venus came up mostly because FFG had apparently already put in a substantial amount of work, based on their license with Hasbro. I don't believe for a minute that FFG was trying to play the bully, but only trying to assert rights to something they felt in good faith that they had.

Thus, I really doubt we'll hear anything from FFG unless they have been developing that game for awhile as well, but I don't think that's likely.
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sigmazero13 wrote:
red black wrote:
kgage88 wrote:
just in case people are still interested the Stronghold Trademark application for Magic Realm was updated to "Published for opposition" on 03 APR.
Cue FFG making an appearance on the 29th day.
Unless FFG was already in development and had a contract with Hasbro, I doubt it. The whole thing with Merchants of Venus came up mostly because FFG had apparently already put in a substantial amount of work, based on their license with Hasbro. I don't believe for a minute that FFG was trying to play the bully, but only trying to assert rights to something they felt in good faith that they had.

Thus, I really doubt we'll hear anything from FFG unless they have been developing that game for awhile as well, but I don't think that's likely.
Yes. I also feel Stronghold will hold on any announcement until the trademark procedure has been completed. Last thing they want is some speculative objection any publicity could bring. So we may hear something by early May but unlikely before then.
 
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I'm hopeful, though I hope they keep the spirit of the game board and setup. I would like to see the roadways redone to make valley and forest clearings more accessible (or a "moving through forest" rule for going from one roadway to another). In fact, an overland movement that allows one to enter/leave forest clearings but not cave or mountain clearings would be key. Perhaps roll two dice (one for the Woods Girl), and on a 6 you get lost and end up back where you started.

I would also like to see them do away with recording phases. And combat only happening at night, while a monster blocks you for most of the day, just waiting for the sun to set. Don't get me wrong; it's a great strategy game - I just prefer something that plays more like Arkham Horror.

Anyway, let's hope they do it right!
 
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Samuel Hinz
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so you really want them to make a different game?
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